Thunder coach Scott Brooks said he’s been pleased with the development of second-year point guard Russell Westbrook and his play through the first week of training camp. Brooks credited Westbrook for his commitment to playing with the team in summer league and said Friday that he’s noticed growth in Westbrook’s game.
"He’s a better player,” Brooks said. "Russell’s going to improve for a lot of years. He’s not a finished product. He’s 20 years old and has the chance to get better for the next 10 years. And he will get better. He’s an athletic young point guard that challenged himself all summer to improve. And I see the improvement. We have to continue to work with him to get better. He has a nice feel. He’s not playing as fast, and he’s comfortable out there. I’m happy with the way he’s been playing so far.”
HARDEN HOPING TO PLAY IN PRESEASON OPENERRookie James Harden took part in more drills Friday after sitting out with a sprained ankle Wednesday and Thursday. Harden said the ankle is progressing well but still stings when he pushes off of it. He worked on mobility drills and did some catch-and-shoot work throughout Friday’s first session. Harden is still listed as day-to-day, but he said he "definitely” will play in Wednesday’s preseason opener. "I don’t want to jinx myself, but working with these guys icing it and just doing the right things and getting the right treatment, hopefully I’ll be back,” Harden said. Harden said he is trying to keep up while sidelined by watching and finding different ways he can incorporate himself into the offense. He’s also asking coaches how he might be able to take advantage of certain situations he sees playing out on the court. "Once I get back on the court I’ll get more of a feel of where I’ll fit in at,” Harden said.
CAMP INVITES PERFORMING WELLThe four players in the Thunder’s training camp on non-guaranteed contracts have played well and have helped make the first week competitive and lively, Brooks said.